September 26, 2018 / 2:52 AM / 20 days ago

Chilean President Pinera announces 3.2 pct public spending increase for 2019 budget

SANTIAGO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced on Tuesday a 3.2 percent increase in public spending in the 2019 budget, the lowest level of expansion in eight years.

The increase in public spending for 2019 is lower than the 3.9 percent approved this year.

In a broadcast statement, Pinera said the trade war between the United States and China, which has contributed to uncertainty in the global economy, has impacted Chile by driving down the price of copper, the country’s main export, and pushing up oil prices and interest rates.

In May, the government announced it will slash a total of $4.6 billion from its budget through 2021 in an effort to return the country to “fiscal responsibility,” finance minister Felipe Larrain said. (Reporting by Antonio De La Jara, writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Michael Perry)

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